Kinabatangan River

Funny Apes

Sometimes, nature creates funny things. For instance animals. We try to find one species of them in the woods of Kinabantangan. Proboscis. Apes with noses so big as cucumbers. We´re waiting in the palm restaurant straight above the river for the boatsman to bring us to the small channels of the Kinabatangan River. The entrance to the deep rainforest. A few minutes later, we´re on our way. A green variety of plants confine the river to both sides. Small houses, built on pegs, hiding between the bush.

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Birds like the stylish Kingfisher or the special-looking hornbill are decorating the sky with exotic colours. Our guide does really a good job, he has been spotting a green Viper, lying on a branch, waiting for some food coming by. We turn right into a small channel, and the driver is reducing the speed. The music of the jungle is surrounding us. We come closer and little by little we can see more of them. Macaques. This kind of apes is quite common in Borneos forests.

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Active little monkeys jumping without hesitations from one tree to another. Always crying and slapping each other. Shortly afterward, we get to see a wild Orang Utan, waiting for the right moment to cross the river. Everybody is exited. The first highlight of this boating.

We go further on and after a few minutes of concentrated wilderness watching – we spot it. The first big nose. Followed by a strong neck and muscular shoulders comes eventually a big big belly. This must be the CEO of the proboscis circus. The Boss is sitting on his easy chair-branch, constantly observing his harem. Staff-monitoring. I see his face and in a part of a second I get reminded of more than a dozen people I know.

“This ape is the hundred percent reflection of some modern human beings.”

Such a perfectionist in the way of what he is doing. Relaxing like he sits in front of the TV, watching like he sits in front of a TV and chewing bamboo like he sits in front of a TV. Just the packet of chips (crisps) is missing.

The boss has maybe 20 or 25 employees. All of them are female. Almost uncountable because five climb up, six down, three are jumping right, one is swinging to the left and not to forget the diagonal moves. Now I know where the Chinese State Circus has it´s conceptions from. It´s like “ape speedclimbing” in three dimensions.

However, the monkeys CEO-tamer is relaxed. It´s business as usual. His long tail holds the balance to the back and his big belly to the front. That makes it easy to sit on every branch his circus ring can provide.

But anytime, every exciting show comes to an end.

Soon, the curtain will rise again and the jungle life will go on.

For us, it was a marvellous day – for the noses CEO, it was just another day in the office…

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